A comparative assessment of front-runner case studies in Small Island Development States (SIDS) will be used to draw lessons on the governance of climate adaptation and DRR, and to enable mutual learning and reflection. The comparative assessment will feed into a participatory planning process, combined with action research, in Zanzibar to develop a consensus-based action plan outlining the design of physical interventions and governance arrangements to implement these interventions. As such we are able to support a planning process that is tailor-made and which is supported by strong scientific evidence on the best approaches to the governance of climate adaptation in SIDS, and low-lying coastal countries in general.

The project stems from the following rationale:

  1. The economy of SIDS is vulnerable to climate change, since a high percentage of GDP and livelihoods are associated with climate-sensitive sectors, in particular tourism, public health, agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
  2. The climate of Zanzibar has been changing, which has seen a significant increase in extreme events in the last decade, which has led to major economic costs.
  3. In Zanzibar, climate change impacts have the potential to undermine and even undo progress made in improving the socio-economic well-being of Zanzibaris. In addition, climate change may exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and inequalities that could increase the potential of conflict, which has shown its early signs in tensions between different sectoral stakeholders.
  4. Although Zanzibar is experiencing a deficit in adaptive capacity, it provides great opportunities for sustainable economic development on the islands. This development should have legitimacy for the inhabitants, reflect on the conflicting ambitions of stakeholders in areas vulnerable to sea-level rise and ecosystem degradation, and fit within the current and future capacity of the national and local government.
  5. There is the potential for greater advances on climate adaptation planning and DRR. While existing policies set out an architecture and responsibilities, the need for considerable strengthening of adaptive capacity (at community and government level), information collection, governance, infrastructure, etc. remains to enable more effective implementation of policies.

The outcomes of the participatory planning process include building blocks of and recommendations for:

  • Governance arrangements
  • Physical interventions
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Further study and knowledge sharing
  • Improved planning capacity of local partners

The outcomes of the participatory action research and the comparative assessment include:

  • Critical insights into how to develop effective governance arrangements, in order to support sustainable economic development and to strengthen research capacity on climate governance in SIDS
  • Knowledge dissemination and capacity building through trainings, manuals, and various publications

This project builds on existing work by The Hague Institute on SIDS, in particular a policy brief outlining an action agenda regarding climate security and justice for SIDS, as well as a high-level roundtable event on the same topic

The project will be implemented from January 2015 until December 2016. In addition to the core funding provided by The Hague Institute, the project also received generous financial support from the Netherlands Water Partnership’s Young Expert Program on Water and from Deltares (project partner). Other project partners include the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.

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Project Outputs

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